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Help needed to find suitable software/app for basic 3D illustration

Discussion in 'Product Design, 3D & CAD' started by Matthew Ralphs, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. Matthew Ralphs

    Matthew Ralphs New Member

    Hi all. My first post, so bare with me if I'm asking the wrong forum.
    I run my own 'one man band' business designing and installing ropes courses and climbing towers using wood and steel. I'm not a designer or engineer! I liaise with clients then employ structural engineers and specialist fabricators.

    Could anyone suggest the most appropriate software to use to create basic 3D illustrations which I can use to illustrate the structure / shape / layout for my clients at the quotation stage. These will have the same components but they overall structure will be different for each client, maybe even 2 or 3 different options.

    I do not need to detail every nut and bolt or be able to send perfect 'designs' to engineers / fabricators. Just professional looking 3D illustrations for potential clients. As a 'one man band' I need to be able to do quickly and cost effectively each time, whilst running all the other parts of my business.
  2. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Boxshot and Origami are both very good.

    Boxshot, you can load your images to 3d planes of various items.

    And origami is a plugin for illustrator that can show how a folded box might look like.

    They also have an online version that's basically free
  3. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Are you referring to presenting layouts of courses and equipment? I'd use something like Google SketchUp, it allows you to easily and quickly knock up basic 3D shapes and refine them as much as you'd like. You can also export them as 'drawings' with a different filter attached that changes how it looks (pencil, pen and ink, solid coloured shapes, etc).You can also work in absolute sizes so everything you produce will be to a scale.
  4. Matthew Ralphs

    Matthew Ralphs New Member

    Hi Paul. Yes layouts of courses that illustrate the different obstacles/challenges included. If these were in 3D it would give the client a much better idea of what it would look like. Having them to scale would be important and using colour even better. Do you know if you can save components previously created so they can be used again? Most of the components such as upright poles, horizontal beams etc are the same. Its just the layout, configuration and dimensions that vary from client to client.
  5. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Just a quick one - using images and the origami I created this relatively quick

    Here's the final PDF (I am only working off a trial that's why there's watermarks).

    I know it's very simple - but it's easy to do. And shows a ramp with ropes, that presumably they climb - and then run down the opposite side or whatever.

    It should be opened in Acrobat and there should be a yellow bar with a warning, go to the options on top right - and click allow - and then click anywhere within the white area to activate the 3d model.
  6. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    You know I'm thinking something like visio plus individual image assets might be a way to go with this from what I'm reading although I'll be honest I'm struggling to understand what it is exactly you're tyring to do.
  7. Athos

    Athos Active Member

    I never heard about origami or Boxshot but I've already worked with Google ketchup at school for creating some custom furnitures for example and the tool is really simple to manipulate and really powerful.
  8. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    I believe you can create and save assets that you want to re-use. You can even arrange them in an array and have them all update at once (think of a row of lampposts – you update the master and they all update automatically.

    There's a free version you can download to get used to but it's not for commercial work –

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